Castle Combe and Nettleton

Wiltshire, England

SummaryGetting there

A country walk around one of England's prettiest villages - one that time forgot.

Distance:3.5 Miles
Est. Time:1 hrs 40 mins
Difficulty: Very easy 
OS map: Explorer sheet 156
Total Ascent:413 ft 
Total Descent: 433 ft 

DescriptionMap View

The RouteSafetyNotes


  • bridge over the By Brook at Castle Combeone of England's prettiest villages
  • quiet woodland
  • watch the trout under Castle Coombe bridge
  • a delightful clapper-style bridge

For many Americans, Castle Coombe is the Cotswolds. Of course, it is just one part of a strikingly pretty area (and the southernmost end at that). But it is a village frozen in time and well worth a visit. This walk begins and ends in Castle Coombe and takes in some peaceful pathways on the route


The Route go to top

reiverside cottages opposite Castle Coombe bridge From the car park turn right down the hill towards Castle Combe village. At the junction turn right and at the next junction turn right into the smaller road past cottages, following the signpost to "Nettleton Shrub 2 ½ miles".

After Combe House follow the drive and then the left hand footpath signed through Manor House Golf Club. Walk alongside the Golf Course for a short way, following a stone wall and then downhill into woodland. The path splits and an alternative route goes through a squeeze stile and down into Castle Combe.

Don't go that way, but follow the path right continuing to walk alongside the wall. After a few yards the footpath veers right and runs along the edge of an escarpment. The path meets a road that leads right into the Golf Club. Follow that road briefly and then turn left over a bridge, still walking on a Golf Club roadway. (The river contains trout)

At a low log fence the path turns left, away from the road, leaves the Golf Club and enters woodland. The stream is now on the right. Cross a stile and continue straight ahead on the same path. At the buildings marked as Nettleton Mill House go through the gate and turn left to walk between the modernised stone buildings. The river is now on the left. Cross a stile and continue straight ahead.

Castle Combe Market CrossCross a stile and turn left onto a track leading to a ford and clapper bridge.  Cross the bridge and continue on the footpath. When the path meets a road turn left and follow the road uphill. The road runs along an escarpment above a wood called "The Pinetum".

Go past one of the farm roads for Shrub Farm (on the left) then past the main drive to the farm. About 200 yards further on turn left over a stile onto a footpath leading down through some woods. The path leads down to a road where you turn left and walk directly into Castle Combe village, walking alongside the By Brook.

Cross the stone bridge and walk straight up the main street of Castle Combe, past the Market Cross.

Continue up the hill following the signs back to the car park.

Safety go to top

 By any standards this is an easy walk. It has some shallow climbs and you have to watch for occasional cars that assume their way is clear on some of the narrow roads. Distance approx 3 miles.

Notes go to top

 bridge leading to the golf courseCastle Combe - this village has refused to allow time to change it... a stubbornness that deserves applause. A very small amount of traffic passes through the village street, but most visitors come on foot from the Car Park at the top of the hill. The village has a luxury country hotel, an ancient church, a few appropriate shops and an old market cross. Apart from that, it is sleepy cottages alongside a quiet street, with a trout stream passing under a hump back bridge. The village is overlooked by wooded hills that enclose it cosily. Bring a camera!

woodland stream alongside golf course
Golf Course - that walk passes across a golf course at which some care may be needed to avoid flying golf balls. But it is a pleasant part of the walk leading on and up into attractive deciduous woodland.

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